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Online matters: Future visions of digital making and materiality in hobby crafting

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Over the past twenty years, hobby crafting has experienced a revival of interest, as people have started to seek new ways to engage with crafts as creative leisure in an increasingly digital world. Along the way, emerging, digital technologies have provided new tools and ways to engage in hobby crafting. Indeed, today’s hobby crafts are frequently concerned with material mediated via the internet and accomplished with the aid of software, which also affects our understanding of maker identities in online communities. This article argues that digitalization has not only revolutionized hobbyist craft making with new tools and technologies, but has also paved new ways for practising creative skills, which has had a significant impact on makers’ engagements with craft materials, objects and communities of practices. This is demonstrated through netnographic explorations on Facebook’s leisure craft community where digital material practices are increasingly prevalent in hobbyists’ everyday life. As a conclusion, the article speculates on visions of the future of hobby crafts and its relevance as a leisure pursuit.
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Keywords: crafts; digitalization; hobby crafting; leisure; materiality; social media; speculative futures; technology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: September 1, 2020

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.

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